COSMIC Desktop Is Slated to Debut with Pop!_OS 24.04 LTS

It's final - a highly anticipated stable release of the COSMIC desktop environment is coming with Pop!_OS 24.04 LTS.

System76, the company behind the popular Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS Linux distro, is developing COSMIC, a desktop environment currently in the alpha stage. It’s creating quite a buzz in the open-source community, with many users eagerly anticipating its release. Here’s why.

For years, GNOME has been trying to “re-educate” users on how a desktop environment should work, often by removing key features that have been staples of the desktop experience for over three decades and introducing controversial changes and approaches to the UI and user’s interaction with the environment.

Against this backdrop, COSMIC is seen as a breath of fresh air. For those who have been looking for an alternative, it promises a return to the familiar and beloved aspects of desktop computing, making it a highly awaited development for anyone craving a more traditional user experience.

COSMIC Current Progress

As COSMIC’s development progresses, the project team has shared exciting updates on completing several key features. Among the finished items, the COSMIC screenshot tool stands out, allowing users to easily capture their entire screen, specific windows, or selected areas.

Another breakthrough comes in the form of Floating Window Stacks. This feature enhances multitasking by enabling users to group floating (non-tiled) windows, akin to tabbed browsing, but with the flexibility and visibility of your desktop space.

In other words, users can effortlessly add or remove applications to a stack, simplifying workflow management.

COSMIC Desktop
Image credits: System76

COSMIC’s commitment to performance and aesthetics is further evident in its On-Screen Displays and COSMIC Text improvements. The newly completed OSD designs offer sleek, graphical overlays for adjustments like volume, brightness, and keyboard brightness, enhancing the user interface’s intuitiveness.

COSMIC Desktop
Image credits: System76

Meanwhile, adding a shape-run-cache feature to cosmic-text boosts COSMIC Terminal’s performance, ensuring smoother operation and higher framerates.

The development team has also finalized the design and implementation of Display and Wallpaper Settings, allowing for comprehensive customization of display orientations, resolutions, and personalized wallpapers.

Lastly, the COSMIC team focuses on enhancing Hybrid Graphics performance, promising improved control and efficiency for systems with multiple GPUs. This includes minimizing battery impact in hybrid graphics mode and providing users with detailed information on GPU usage.

Work in Progress

Work is ongoing for the COSMIC Terminal and COSMIC Edit, with the team refining features like custom color schemes, profiles, and the much-anticipated splits functionality.

Implementing a tiling applet, input device settings, and the design of new app and applet icons, including a fresh take on the file manager, are also in progress.

Tiling Applet
Image credits: System76

Moreover, the development team is tackling the construction of workspaces, a core aspect of COSMIC’s user experience, alongside innovations like a specialized applet for minimized applications and a new login screen.

The design-matching phase will ensure that all implemented features align with COSMIC’s visionary designs, from the app library to notification bubbles.

When Will the Final Cosmic Desktop Version Be Released?


The moment we’ve all been eagerly anticipating is finally here: when can we expect the COSMIC desktop to be officially released? We’re thrilled to share that we have a clear answer now.

Get ready for the COSMIC desktop to make its grand entrance with the upcoming Pop!_OS 24.04 LTS version, built on the foundation of Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, which is set to launch on April 25.

However, considering that the goal is to ship the release with the COSMIC desktop environment, this time, Pop!_OS 24.04 LTS will not appear soon after Ubuntu 24.04 hits the street, but as stated above, at the earliest in late summer.

But the excitement doesn’t end with Pop!_OS. The COSMIC desktop is poised to be embraced by various other distributions. This adoption will undoubtedly lead to the emergency of new and diverse versions of numerous Linux distro flavors. And truly, that will be a wonderful thing!

More details on the current progress made on the desktop environment can be found on the System76 blog.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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2 Comments

  1. From what I’ve seen thus far, it looks WAY too much like MSWin 11. And I’m sorry, but that’s not meant to be a compliment.

    One thing I *would* say in it’s favor is it abandoned that hot mess that GTK has become. I still think all the *other* GTK-based desktops (anything that’s not GNOME) should abandon GTK and port over to CTK. Then they could undo all the boneheaded breakage in GTK inflicted by the GNOME Project.

    • How does it look like Windows 11? Because it has a centered dock? PopOS has had that longer than Windows so if anything it is the other way around. Unlike Windows, this can be easily disabled. So many other things make it look totally different like it having a top bar and just the theme in general. I’m not a huge fan out the look, but it certainly doesn’t look much like Windows.

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